2 law firms to help city lease parking lots

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The Pittsburgh Parking Authority board yesterday chose two law firms to help it through a lease of city garages, lots and potentially meters that it hopes will net $200 million.

Chicago-based Katten Muchin Roseman has been involved in that city's pioneering parking asset leases, said authority Executive Director David Onorato. Its attorneys will charge between $480 and $625 an hour.

Downtown-based K&L Gates will bring understanding of local real estate and tax law, and charge $250 to $700 an hour.

The firms were picked from among 22 that submitted proposals in response to a Jan. 4 invitation.

Mr. Onorato said that if the long-term lease is consummated, the firms will be paid from the proceeds. If the deal isn't done, the firms will share a maximum payment of $350,000.

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's administration has proposed the lease deal as a way to raise money for the city's struggling pension fund. New authority board Chairman Scott Kunka yesterday acknowledged that the authority's employees are nervous about the deal.

"No one will lose their jobs as a result of this transaction," he said.


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